Wood stairs paint | Step by step to a new look of wood stairs

Paint wooden stairs and timber stairs

If you want to paint your stairs – to get a new, fresh feeling in the house, or because the stairs simply need refinishing –, the paint to paint the wooden stairs/ timber stairs inside the house clearly determine not only the look but the durability. As you want the most durable, longest lasting finish on your stairs, it is worth looking into what the best paint for stairs is. Color choice is of course all yours. Stairs that are used intensively need a high-quality stairs paint, perhaps with a non-skid surface finish.

We show you how to paint your wooden interior stairs so that the paint stays on for years, and give an overview of the best paints for stairs that are heard-wearing.


Buy paint for wooden stairs and timber stairs

Floor paint is designed to be durable, hard-wearing and stain-resistant, thus some floor paint is suitable for wooden stairs that are walked on a lot. Find below a few paints to paint your wooden stairs at home:

KILZ Adhesion High-Bonding Interior-Exterior Latex Primer-Sealer White 1 Quart
KILZ Adhesion Bonding Primer
  • White
  • 1 Quart
INSL-X SU030809A-01 Sure Step Acrylic Anti-Slip Coating Paint1 Gallon Gray Pearl
INSL-X Anti-Slip Stairs paint
  • Gray Pearl
  • 1 Gallon
Jolie Paint Matte Finish Water-Based Pure White - 32 oz 1 Quart
Jolie Chalk Finish Paint
  • Pure White
  • 32 oz (1 Quart)
Rust-Oleum 200141H Water-Based Polyurethane 1-Quart Semi-Gloss
Varathane Wood Finish
  • Clear, Semi-Gloss
  • 1 Quart
Loew Cornell 12347 Sandpaper Pack Coarse, Medium and Fine Grit
Loew Cornell Sandpaper Pack
  • 120 + 240 + 400
  • 3x 3 2/3” x 9”

Paint your wooden stairs – step by step

To paint a complete staircase, you need a weekend of time to do it. Good news: It is not hard to paint stairs, if you are conscientous on the prep work – as that’s half the battle.

Discover the fun in painting stairs by following the following 8 steps of preparation and actual painting:

1. Preparation of the stairs before painting

  1. Cover the floor the floor that is not to be painted with tape and large paper covering from a paper roll.
  2. Remove any covering or carpet from the stairs. If there is none, go ahead and clean the wooden treads as well as the wooden risers with detergent and suitable degreaser. Let it dry. As adhesion is key when apllying paint, you should not rush the cleaning process.
  3. The following step involves sanding the wooden surfaces to prepare it for the coming paint. Start with a rough grid (approximately an 80 grit sand paper when old paint needs to be removed) and move in steps from a 120 grit to a fine 240 grit.Use sand paper and a sanding block; a mouse sander facilitates laborious sanding work.
  4. Check for dents, cracks and holes that needs repairing. Fill them with a strong wood filler and sand it to an even, smooth surface.
  5. Free the stairs from dust with vaccum cleaner. a brush and wipe away all dust with a damp microfiber cloth.
  6. If necessary, create a grease-free surface by using isopropanol/ rubbing alcohol and a cloth.
  7. Tape off and cover all areas that must not be painted with masking tape and sheeting, like the wall.

2. Paint the stairs – treads and riser

You are finally ready to paint the stairs!

Tip: If you want to make sure you can keep using your stairs while the paint is drying, paint only each other step. Mark the treads you will not paint the first time with a cross of tape.

Also: Work from the top of the stairs down.

  1. Use a wood primer that is compatible with the paint you intend to use for the stairs’ finish. If you use paint that needs no primer, or you paint on existing, compatible paint, skip the wood primer.
  2. Cut in with an angled, sharp paint brush along the edges and use a small, fine roller to create a smooth finish for the whole surface of the treads and the risers. Always try to follow the wood grain with the brush and particularly the roller. Start with the risers, end with the treads. Let dry the first layer of paint.
  3. If you marked the unpainted stairs with crosses, remove the tape cross after the paint has dried, and put it on the dry painted ones. Paint the remaining steps as in step 2.
  4. Apply the number of coates that is recommended by the paint manufacturer.
  5. Remove all masking tape around the edges.
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